The identification of genetic and biochemical mechanisms underlying tumor growth and progression along with the unraveling of human genoma provided a plethora of new targets for cancer detection, treatment and monitoring. Simultaneously, the extraordinary development of a number of imaging technologies, including hybrid systems, allowed the visualization of biochemical, molecular and physiological aberrations linked to underlying mutations in a given tumor. In vivo evaluation of complex biological processes such as proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, gene expression, receptor-ligand interactions, transport of substrates and metabolism of nutrients in human cancers is feasible using PET/CT and radiolabeled molecular probes. Some of these compounds are in preclinical phases of evaluation whereas others have been already applied in clinical settings. Here we provide prominent examples on how some biological processes and target expression can be visualized by PET/CT in animal tumor models and cancer patients for the noninvasive detection of well-known markers of tumor aggressiveness, invasiveness and resistance to treatment and for the evaluation of tumor response to therapy.
- Translational research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging